Money transfer firm iRemit Inc. said Tuesday its remittance volume significantly increased in 2008 "despite the financial market strain in the last quarter."
iRemit handled a total of $1.1 billion in remittances last year, up 42 percent year-on-year. It said the growth outpaced the industry's 13.7 percent expansion as earlier reported by the central bank.
iRemit said it also grew its market share to 7 percent in 2008 from 5 percent in 2007.
"We are satisfied with our year-end performance despite the reported financial market strain in the last quarter. We have made good progress in addressing the issues that negatively impacted our results. We spread out our market reach, ramped up our marketing programs, and further advanced activities on the product development front," Harris Jacildo, company president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
iRemit expanded its operations in the Pacific region by opening new branches in New Zealand, Perth and Liverpool in Australia. It is also awaiting for the formal issuance of the licenses to operate in Italy and Macau.
To further improve its business, iRemit last year engaged in simultaneous product launches. The company said it improved and introduced major products from the pipeline like the iPay services, which include collection of premium and contribution payments by overseas Filipino workers to key government agencies, real estate payments, pre-needs and insurances, and the bills payment facilities through iRemit Visa Card.
"While these socially-relevant services have been offered in the previous years, we improved the system of collection using the host-to-host and online facilities. We also expanded the services in almost all regions where we are present," explained Jacildo.
Despite the challenging economic environment, the company continued mandating new standards in the remittance industry and launched the first EMV chip debit-card technology in the country. The iRemit ShopNPay Visa Card, which was introduced in September, boosted the company's remittance performance.
iRemit said it was optimistic it could manage through future challenges. "We strengthened each operating unit, worked in synergy with banks and payout partners, and explored fusion marketing with companies with similar target market," said Jacildo.